Before anyone says "see a specialist" I've seen a specialist. I tried everything I was told and it failed.
Persephone is almost 3 weeks old and she 98% of the time refuses to breastfeed. She knows how to latch. When she decides to take my nipple, she latches fine. I have PLENTY of milk. The problem is, most of the time she just cries around my nipple. I've tried:
1) The cradle hold, the cross-cradle, the football hold, and several made up positions that work sometimes and others not.
2) Pumping. My pump is crap. I don't have the money to buy a good one at the moment and can't go to WIC right now as I think we are making slightly over the money requirements.
3) Squeezing my milk out and then trying to get her to latch.
4) Presenting when she's mostly asleep. This worked for a while then she hated it too.
5) Putting some formula on my breast since she likes it and she screams.
6) Giving her the bottle and swapping for my nipple quickly.
7) Nipple shields. She cries around those too...
I had to start giving her formula in a bottle because she wasn't eating enough and she stopped peeing and got dehydrated so I was forced to by the Doctor. She isn't confused about the nipples because, like I said, when she decides to cooperate, she latches perfectly fine and drinks as much as she supposed to. She's just not doing it most of the time and I don't know why. Help?
You're having the exact opposite problem as me, Angel. Aphrodite cries like a, well, baby, when I try to give her a bottle, she'd feed all day long if I let her. So I can't help you, just give hugs.
How much is a decent breast pump by the way? No parents who can help out a bit?
Congrats on little Persephone! My Aniella is about 6 weeks, and we have just now settled into a good BF'ing routine. So it does take time. First, good for you for continuing to try! BFing is hard work. I'm not sure most people realize just how hard it can be and how much work and effort it takes at first for the mama. So go you! I also gave formula in the beginning because Ella was diagnosed with jaundice before my milk came in. I was so nervous it was going to "ruin" BFing, but she has been fine, and we still regularly go back and forth between nursing, bottles of pumped breast milk and bottles of formula. Nipple confusion be damned!
One issue that Ella and I were having was that her mouth was so small it seemed very difficult for her to get the nipple and surrounding tissue in her mouth. So what I did was to squeeze the nipple between my fingers in like a scissor motion to help her get what she needed to get into her mouth. You mentioned latch isn't a problem, but just thought I'd share what worked for us.
Another thing that I noticed was that sometimes after she latched, the surrounding breast tissue would cover her little nostrils and make it hard for her to breathe. Then she would unlatch so that she could take a breath! So I started gently pulling back some of my breast so that I made sure I could see her nostrils, giving her room to breathe.
Also, could Persephone be congested? I know Ella won't stay latched or feed well if she's stuffy. and I'm sure the specialist mentioned this, so sorry if I'm repetitive but what about your diet? I had to cut out a few foods/beverages because it didn't sit well with Ella.
Thats all I can think of for now! Good luck!
oh! about the pump. I know what you mean. the hospital grade ones that are designed to faciliate and maintain milk supply are pricey (think like $300). I was lucky enough to be gifted a used medela electric pump in style, and I just had to buy all the replacement parts (tubing, bottles, etc). But when I gave birth, the hospital said that if I didn't have a pump, they could provide one for me, and I would only have to pay a copay. It's only been 3 weeks since you had her, so maybe check into the hospital's policy regarding pumps?
With the healthcare reform, most insurance companies are required to cover a breast pump for new moms up to a year after birth. I called my insurance company and they had me call this medical supply company and provide their info and I got a breast pump mailed to me. A few insurance companies managed to be grandfathered out of it, but most, including I believe medicaid, should cover it.
Do you have a strong let down, when you first start feeding does a lot of milk come suddenly? It might be too much for her and that's why she gets upset. You could try pumping or squeezing out for a couple of minutes before you feed her, just to make your let down a little slower.
Congrats on her arrival!
My only advice is that you look into renting a higher quality pump. By me you can do this through the hospital. You could always call your LLL to find out about that by you. They might have advice or even lend you a pump if they don't do this rental thing by you. It's something to try.
Also, it might be something in your diet that she doesn't like! I've heard that some babies reject nursing when mom eats cabbage or broccoli. Usually it's about gassy foods, but it could be she has a sensitivity to an allergen or something. BTW this is more folk-wisdom than medical fact but maybe ask the Dr or LLL about this possibility and play around with your diet.
AND I think it's great that you're supplimenting with formula even though you clearly want to breastfeed. It takes a lot of moms & babies awhile to get there with nursing, but so many moms are stubborn about not ever giving formula. It's great that you're considering your babies needs!
What a stressful situation. I can't offer up much other advice, especially with all the things you've already tried, as well as having seen a specialist.
When I was BFing Leo, especially in the early weeks/months, I found this website called Kellymom, very helpful. Here is a link to page discussing when baby fusses at the breast and possible reasons along with suggestions of what might be causing it: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/chil...while-nursing/. I really hope something there speaks to you.
Also, if you haven't tried contacting your local La Leche League, that might also be a good place to try for help. There are often local group pages on Facebook, so you could try searching there as well. The support they offer is really valuable.
Good luck with everything, you are doing a great job!
Thanks you guys. I'm just so frustrated >.<
I'll have to call La Leche. I did research on their page, but hadn't thought to call with my brain preoccupied with so many things! The cheapest pumps in my local Wal-Mart are upwards of 200 for a good one. The hospital I had her at says that they only give out pumps to moms returning to work or school so that's out for me. I'm not going to be going back to work anytime soon. Sigh.
I tried feeding her about 30 minutes ago and she pursed her lips like she was kissing it, then took the bottle fine. Sigh. I think part of the problem is that (and this might be TMI) I have fairly large breasts. They're up in the double D range, and I just think there's too much for her mouth. But obviously there's nothing I can do about that. Sigh. I'll try squeezing some extra milk out to make sure I don't just have too much coming at her all at once.
Another article link for you (if you have time)
It's from the LLL site and has tips for large breasted breastfeeding. Mine are also large (were bigger than baby's head when he was brand new!), so I understand how awkward it can be! I also struggled with over-supply, engorgement and a very fast let-down that would leave Leo gasping for air while feeding as the flow was so fast.
Have you tried lying on your side while feeding? Once you get the hang of its its really comfy and you have a hand free to keep the top part of your boob from squishing into baby's face while she tries to eat :) I'm sure there must be some videos on youtube somewhere as well with different techniques and tips etc.